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Good competition policy can stimulate innovation, efficiency: Lee Yi Shyan

The Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry said while Singapore has a highly competitive economy, there is room for improvement in areas such as the intensity of local competition and private sector business sophistication. 

SINGAPORE: Good competition policy can stimulate beneficial changes, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan said on Thursday (Aug 21), speaking at the conference organised by the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) and the Singapore Academy of Law.

Singapore has a highly competitive economy, he said, but there is room for improvement in areas such as the intensity of local competition and private sector business sophistication. Competition policy would be able to facilitate the development of a vibrant marketplace by removing barriers to market entry, resulting in contestable markets where players need to stay competitive and efficient to maintain market share and grow.

Good regulation can also foster an environment that facilitates disruptive innovation by new firms that challenge incumbents and drive innovation throughout the industry, he added.

Mr Lee said Singapore has benefited from the introduction of its Competition Act since 2005. He cited various actions taken by CCS to improve the functioning of a free market in Singapore, including action taken against an international cartel involving in price-fixing by overseas ball-bearing manufacturers, which had resulted in local businesses paying higher prices.

Singapore's competitiveness has been widely recognised in global ranking reports. In the 2013-2014 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report, for instance, Singapore was ranked second behind Switzerland for the third consecutive year.

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